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Comment: Re:republicrats (Score 4, Insightful) 209

by gewalker (#49530491) Attached to: McConnell Introduces Bill To Extend NSA Surveillance

You are right the R or D matters little. The reasons are actually pretty simple.

Both parties threaten their junior members to tow the party line or they will work against them next election. And of course, holding power becomes the most important thing to members over time as the perks are without parallel, esp. power and ego stroking.

Majority of congresscritters don't really care that much about rule of law or the opinion of their constituents.

The reelection rates are so high that their is little actual reason for them to change their ways.

D & R do have different issues, e.g., Rs like guns, Ds like abortion on demand. But they share more in common, desire for power, using gov. to solve all problems, discounting personal liberty.

Comment: Re:How about... (Score 1) 101

When you have the profits of a major corporation to draw upon you don't actually care about the price of cocaine or hookers. Megayachts sure. But not the roundoff errors. Ex-wives as a result of cocaine and hookers are another matter entirely.

Now if you are paying $10,000 per hour for prostitute, you are not actually paying for a prostitute, you are paying for a fantasy or status or something else. High end-sex prostitues are simply not expensive if you are make $10 million annually.

Comment: Re:I'm gonna go out on a limb. (Score 5, Informative) 291

by gewalker (#49452713) Attached to: Cannabis Smoking Makes Students Less Likely To Pass University Courses

Well, had you read the article ...

“The effects we find are large, consistent and statistically very significant,” Marie told the Observer. “For example, we estimate that students who were no longer able to buy cannabis legally were 5% more likely to pass courses. The grade improvement this represents is about the same as having a qualified teacher and, more relevantly, similar to decreases in grades observed from reaching legal drinking age in the US.”

So, about the same.

I thought we already knew the academic impact of canibus use from the documentary Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Comment: It's either natural or artificle or a combination (Score 1) 298

by gewalker (#49439079) Attached to: Did Natural Selection Make the Dutch the Tallest People On the Planet?

Whether you believe in Adam and Eve or Mitochondrial Eve you believe that everyone on the planet is ultimately descended from a single pair of humans.

There are a few Bible believers that think God has taken a hand in human development since then (curse of Ham and the black race - a rather racist and vile view, probably others I've not heard of). But almost every religious and all Darwinists believe in variation within kind, and despite quite a bit of variation all living humans are of the same species.

There is certainly a mix of natural and non-natural evolution within the process of human evolution. For example, being selected for soldier duty based on observable characteristics. Being selected for death because you were Jewish and living in Nazi Germany are just 2 clear examples of artificial selection pressure.

Being considered a more desirable mate because you are tall, short, etc. clear falls in the natural selection category.

It is clear a mix of selection styles in the human population.

We also have environmental factors that affect height. Nutrition and health care are simply the most obvious factors. Given the short timescales for the amount of change and the fact that we also see similar changes in other countries as they have modernized we can be quite comfortable in assigning most of the modern change to environmental factor.

We also have plenty of examples of isolation populations of humans being considerably taller or shorter than average. So clearly genetics may also make a considerable difference. As populations interbreed, genetic differences become a more minor component in human variation.

Though the details may be of interest, the broad strokes of this question were already well-known and accepted by almost every person with a modern education.

Comment: Re:'Murica, FUCK YEAH! (Score 1) 626

Of course, it is a funny quote, but it almost certainly never happened.

Her history is actually kind of interesting. Her husband was previously governor of Texas but was convicted of a number of charges. Despite this, she able to overcome this and win the governorship defeating the Republican opponent in a landslide in the 1924 election.

Policywise, perhaps the most interesting thing was that she issued thousands of pardons to reduce prison overcrowding. Mostly those convicted for violation of prohibition laws.

Comment: Bad Press (Score 1) 289

Once again proving the adage that there is no such thing as bad press. Memories Pizza being a recent example too. There is even a fancy name for it, Succès de scandale -- the Wiki article has additional examples.

Of course this adage is really a case of selective memory. There is plenty of examples of bad press harming the subject. Plenty of businesses, and people are harmed by bad press. When I was young, the Tylenol scare occurred because some sicko poisoned some bottles of Tylenol. Had Johnson and Johnson done anything wrong, not at all. But they had to spend a ton of cash recovering from the bad press, including changing their bottling to include anti-tampering, having product pulled from the shelf, etc.

So what is the difference in stories like these? If enough people see the bad press as over the top or simply unfair, the bad press magically transforms in just press and the net outcome is positive for the P/R victim.

Comment: Re:They should adopt Linux... (Score 1) 303

by gewalker (#49397437) Attached to: Microsoft Engineer: Open Source Windows Is 'Definitely Possible'

Way too many dependencies on Windows based software to the APIs in Windows for this to be realistic.

It would be much easier for MS to upgrade their Unix compatibility layer to be compatible with Linux, they could easily make their own distro that played well with Windows and even offer to sell support.

Comment: Re:Yes, but.... (Score 1) 267

by gewalker (#49351049) Attached to: Generate Memorizable Passphrases That Even the NSA Can't Guess

I limit password length on a few sites because it was of user requirement (all willing to agreed 40 or 80 char max). I figure this is long enough to satisfy most people that understand password security. Of course, I use a one way salted hash. So, I can't send the password back to the user on a reset, also often given as a requirement by the user.

Difference is, I won't do the last one though. Why the difference, pick your battles. 40 character limit, not really a big problem, not using a 1-way hash, big problem.

Comment: Re:The whole premise is wrong wrong. Teach users w (Score 1) 159

by gewalker (#49348239) Attached to: Many Password Strength Meters Are Downright Weak, Researchers Say

Upon further reading of the research article itself, I discovered that Dropbox created the meter and then shared it as zxcvbn instead of the other way around that I assumed. They apparently also liked the strength checking in the KeePass utility which is also open source.

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